Any short list of California’s great Chardonnay makers would have to include Chalk Hill Winery in Sonoma County.
Now, Chalk Hill has a new owner: Bill Foley, who over the past 15 years has founded one winery and acquired 10 others.
Foley made his money in insurance, but these days he’s making his mark in the wine business. Chalk Hill arguably is the jewel in his vinous crown, which also includes Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, as well as his original Foley Family Wines in Santa Barbara County.
Chalk Hill’s Fred Furth agreed to the sale, which includes the winery (with a capacity of 43,000 cases), an equestrian center, several houses and a pavilion. It did not include a guest house, in which Furth plans to live.
According to reports, Foley – now among America’s top 30 wine producers – isn’t done yet. Next, he’d like to add an “iconic winery” in Napa County.